Keywords: Chinese Canadian National Council ; National Congress of Chinese Canadians ; Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity ; Zhou, Minghui ; Huang, Jinhuan ; Guan, Xiangguo ; Shen, Mingli ; Wu, Xiangguang ; British Columbia Human Rights Coalition
華裔加人平權共進會（Association of Chinese Canadian for Equality and Soidarity)主席周明輝表示，聯邦自由黨政府試圖通過C-333法案，經由撥款1250萬元解決過去華人移民不公不義的歷史性問題。
平權會指出，從1885年至 1923年期間，約有8萬1000名希望抵加的華人，須支付總額 2300萬元的人頭稅，如今這筆數字價値估計已超過10億加元°
English translation: Relevant Societies Resist the Agreement of Head Tax
The CCNC Questioned the Authority of the NCCC, Calling the Head Tax Payers and their Families to Redress Dignity from the Federal Government
Reported by Wu Xiangguang from Vancouver
The members of the CCNC (Chinese Canadian National Council) and the Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity gathered at Vancouver yesterday, calling on the head tax payers and their families to unite and oppose the deal reached between the federal government and the NCCC (National Congress of Chinese Canadians).
The societies that request the redressing of the head tax, a historically unfair treatment of Chinese Canadians, gathered yesterday at 164 E. Pender, Vancouver Chinatown with dozens of head tax payers, their families and descendants.
Zhou Minghui, chairman of the Association of Canadians for Equality and Solidarity, said that the Federal Liberal government tried to solve the historical problem of unjust treatment of Chinese immigrants through Bill C-333, that is, by paying $12.5 million.
Zhou Minghui strongly criticized the federal government for alleging that they had reached a consensus with the NCCC without fully consulting the head tax payers and their families. The government did not propose an apology or any individual compensation plan.
Zhou Minghui made the appeal that the requests of the victims and their families were very simple, that is, “immediately reversing the head tax”, including paying five million dollars from what was federally appropriated to the victims and their families.
Zhou, himself a descendant of a victim, stressed that many head tax payers and their families felt that they had been betrayed by the politicians of certain parties. In fact, they are asking for a redress of justice and personal dignity.
The attendees included a senior named Huang Jinhuan, who had recently toured the country by riding a motorcycle in a campaign for the reversal of the head tax. The attendees also included the only remaining 98-year-old victim, Guan Xiangguo, in Vancouver, as well as a group of families of head tax payers, who are their second and third generation children.
The family members of head tax payers spoke in succession, questioning the authority of the NCCC to represent all Chinese Canadians. They strongly request that all sectors seek formal redress and substantial compensation from the government.
A young descendant of a head tax victim pointed out that some politicians and the NCCC acted out in an attempt to split the Chinese community, create internal contradictions, and quickly reached an unfair compromise.
Shen Mingli, a former member of the BC Human Rights Coalition, said that in the last century the Canadian government collected the head tax only from Chinese immigrants. This action was very racially discriminatory. She personally supports the victims and their families in pursuing redress. She hopes that the current government can make up for the mistakes of the past in a sincere way.
Zhou Minghui said that the Martin government expects to formally reach a deal with the NCCC this week. He called on all the head tax victims and their families who seek dignity and individual compensation to quickly take counter-actions to prevent such a "reconciliation regardless of principles".
Zhou Minghui said that the CCNC and the Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity have collected about 4,000 signatures. They will request that the government provides economic compensation to each of the head tax victims and their families. Most of the people who signed the appeal said that they would like to receive a formal apology and substantial compensation from the government.
The CCNC pointed out that between 1885 and 1923, about 81,000 Chinese who wished to enter Canada paid the head tax, for a total of 23 million dollars. Today, the figure is estimated to exceed 1 billion Canadian dollars.
[Photo]: Zhou Minghui, from the Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity (middle), Huang Jinhuan, the representative of the head tax victims (right), and Shen Mingli, the representative of the Human Rights Coalition (left) chaired the meeting. (photographed by Wu Xiangguang)